If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: It's time to light Hanukkah candles again, one for each of the eight virtues you're probably running out of as this crazy year comes to a close. The first night celebrates light, as in, "In the beginning there was...". After that, ask for knowledge, justice, mercy, holiness, love, patience and courage, in that order. Since the festival of lights and latkes starts Thursday at sunset, feel free to include these icons in your winter solstice, Saturnalia and yuletide rituals. The synchronicity of the candle sequence works out nicely, too, -- mercy for Christmas Eve, holiness on Christmas Day and love at Boxing Day get-togethers. Christmas comes but once a year, however, the partial solar eclipse/new moon that morning is the fourth one in 2000. Usually it's two solar, two lunar eclipses per year. Things heat up for the weekend -- fiery Mars visits secretive, sexy Scorpio until Valentine's Day; romantic Venus hooks up with erotic, exotic Uranus late Saturday night. Make merry.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

Get away for the holidays, blaze a new trail, follow a line of thought that pops into your head while Mercury is favoring your Mars ruler on Friday; any one of them will work to your advantage. That "I'd better play fair" Libran state of mind vanishes after Mars enters Scorpio and you realize that you want access to greater resources and more sex. Luckily, more pretty people join your circle of friends of friends this weekend, so even if you're family-bound for Christmas, anticipate picking up on something special when you return.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Even if your career is not paramount right now, it should or could be. This weekend your affable Venus ruler joins video-, techno- and people-friendly Uranus in your midheaven. If you ever wished for a fairy godmother's undivided attention and divine intervention, now's the time. Look around for an odd bird, one of those new age priestesses or impresarios who know the magic words that'll transform your work scene. Sad to say the new moon/solar eclipse at Christmas probably won't fulfill your financial expectations, so have an alternative strategy handy.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

A new moon on Christmas Day sets the mood that'll prevail through the presidential inauguration scheduled for January 20. Since the new moon is also a partial solar eclipse, play it safe; expect less rather than more. Your Mercury ruler and the Capricorn sun join forces two hours later (11:23 a.m. PST) to bring you messages from an overworked unconscious. In this case, be grateful for every little hint you glean about the next best thing to do, and, because the meeting is in your marriage house, the person to do it with.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Consider yourself on vacation until Christmas Day. After the Capricorn new moon energy kicks in, you'll gravitate toward reestablishing a suitable work ethic and a healthier health regime. Will you stick to the rules you lay down for yourself? It all depends on how greatly you're influenced by the solar eclipse that day and the partial promise of completion an eclipse implies. You'll have an answer on January 9 during the Cancer full moon. But for now, anticipate a pleasant surprise on Saturday -- romantic, sexy and probably profitable, too.

LEO (July 23-August 22)

Since Lions suffer from light deprivation more than most, be sure to welcome the winter solstice with open arms and an appropriate celebration. Coming soon; more sunlight for you to romp around in. Other reasons not to be depressed: the Capricorn new moon on Christmas takes place in your house of romance and recreation, so something new and a little risky could be in its initial phase. Plus, with magnetic, artistic Venus in your Aquarius marriage house, chances are your social life will take an interesting turn. A new partnership deal, love at first sight?

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

Domestic bliss for the holidays? Once your Mercury ruler enters earthy Capricorn Friday night, you'll no longer feel as irritated or pressured to fulfill each person's fantasy, to improve on every tradition the family follows. And while I'm not suggesting Chinese food and a movie, make sure you take time and space for yourself while the sun and Mercury meet (11:23 a.m. PST) on Christmas Day. Their six-times-a-year mergers make you stronger, smarter and more receptive to your inner wisdom. Suddenly, something you read, hear or think of will click and point you in a new direction.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

Breath a sigh of relief -- irritable, militant Mars leaves your sign on Saturday. You can go back to being a pacifist as soon as you take full advantage of the oddities offered while your Venus ruler gets together with Uranus that night. Out of nowhere, your impeccable taste can lean toward the exotic and erotic, stuff that is either brand-new or pretty weird for you. Breaking barriers, testing the waters, opening up to folks you normally wouldn't is all part of this experience. The new moon on Christmas Day inaugurates another chapter in your family's history. Document it.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Christmas is traditionally the time of year when you can make lots of money, so pay attention to opportunities that arise, particularly in the old Capricornian economy, the earth-centered, brick-and-mortar areas. Because the new moon on Christmas Day is partially eclipsed, you might be disappointed with the results, so hedge your bets. While your Mars co-ruler travels through your sign, you could react a lot more brazenly, almost impulsively (for a Scorp) until it leaves on Valentine's Day. How will this affect your lovelife? We'll see, won't we?

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

A Sagittarius moon from Friday through Sunday should put you in a great mood, receptive to all manner of celebration and comic relief. Keep in mind that the three days before a new moon is not a good time to start anything of importance. Wrap up what began at the Sag new moon Thanksgiving weekend, so that, come Christmas Day, you can move forward. Deep down all Archers know that 2001 will be major, especially while our expansive Jupiter ruler transits our Gemini marriage house through Independence Day. Make a list of potential partners, check it twice; balance naughty with nice.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

This is the time of your time, the season of great joy and fabulous parties. Go ahead and knock yourself out, but leave a few moments on Christmas Day to think beyond the presents of an intangible gift you want for yourself. A better memory? Infinite wisdom? Those qualities may come when the Capricorn sun and Mercury meet, but because the Cap new moon that morning is in partial eclipse, what you wish for might not last long. It's a tricky situation, unpredictable, yet surprisingly pleasant.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

More of the love fest you've been enjoying while Venus has been traveling through your sign. The pace increases appreciably this weekend when the goddess of love and decent artwork meets your idiosyncratic Uranus ruler. Some call it lust; some, an instant attraction. Since this merger only happens once a year, make the most of the uncommon delights coming your way. Friends play an important role, especially on Christmas Day. Let them into your charmed circle, if only by phone; the message could be crucial.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

Take a minute on Christmas Day to plot a new career path; there's no rest for the weary Fish while Capricornian ambition dominates the top of your solar chart. Or take a page from Shakespeare and plot to get away from a domineering family member instead. There might be a lean and hungry Cassius in your crew who "thinks too much" while the Capricorn sun, moon and Mercury are meeting by the tree. Plans, for good or for ill, made under these auspices won't come out the way they were intended. Remember: play nice.


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